Approximate Release Month: March 1993
Genre: Turn-based RPG/strategy
Inindo: Way of the Ninja seems to be a by-the-books Japanese role-playing game. It’s made by Koei, though, so it can’t be that simple, right?
It wasn’t until, oh, ninety minutes or so in that I decided to do some outside research. Normally I don’t do any Googlin’ or GameFAQsin’ until I’ve finished my writethrough and want to verify information, but nothing very interesting was happening in Inindo so far and I’d like to show off a boss battle or a cool setpiece for the video.
Turns out I was three dungeons away from the first boss battle. So here’s the opening and the first dungeon!
This is a roundabout way of saying that I don’t have enough time to get to the meat of Inindo. Flipping through the instruction manual shows that the game eventually turns into a Romance of the Three Kingdoms II style turn-based strategy game. That’s weird, because nothing in the first chunk of the game hints at that.
In Inindo, you play as a ninja in 16th century Japan whose village has been destroyed by the warlord Nobunaga. The game has you gaining power and influence by doing … stuff. I’m not exactly clear on that. I spent a great deal of time spelunking in caves, fighting giant rats and centipedes for experience and cash and none on political intrigue.
The battle system is a rather inventive spin on traditional JRPG combat. You have melee and ranged attacks, and can move around the fighting area as if there were a hex grid laid out. You don’t have magic in the early levels, so my strategy was to just hang back and hit enemies with ninja stars until they got into sword-stabbing range. Once you recruit party members and enemies become more interesting, I can see this being a great addition to Inindo‘s turn-based battles.
Inindo: Way of the Ninja is such a typical Koei game, which are quickly becoming my least favorite games to write about on SNES A Day. At some point, maybe 20 or 30 hours in, this game is going to open up and become a vastly different experience. Is it worth the time you’ll have to invest to get to the potentially cool and deep stuff? I don’t know, and I commend you if you are able to sit through the bad graphics and music to get that far.
Tomorrow: It’s King Arthur’s World and we’re all just visiting.